View Full Version : A Little Combat Mechanic

2009-05-25, 10:31 PM
I've been thinking a bit on how to make combat much more than *I hit, I do damage* for the more base classes of Fighters, Barbarians, ect. So I've been trying to make some alterations to the normal combat system to allow for more options, and hopefully more fun.

The creation of the Base Defense Bonus for each class, at +1 per level, +3/4 per level, or +1/2 per level depending on the class. Defense will be determined as d20+BDB+Dex modifier+Shield Bonus+Any further bonuses. Armor will be used for DR. If you are attacked more than once per round the defense score suffers a -2 penalty for each attack beyond the first one.

Parry= In melee combat, if an opponent makes a melee attack against you and you threaten the opponent you can attempt to defend yourself by using an attack of opportunity to make an attack roll (instead of a defensive roll) opposing the enemies attack. If your attack roll beats the opponents roll the attack is parried and acts as though the opponent missed. You must be proficient with the weapon currently being used to make the parry attempt. If you are caught flat-footed or are in any position in which you lose your Dexterity modifier you cannot make a parry attempt. In order to make a parry attempt you must announce it before the opposing attack is rolled.

Riposte= If after making a parry attempt you succeed by a margin of 5 or more you may make an instantaneous attack of opportunity with a -5 penalty.

Since this system is very dependent on AOOs for every +5 to a player's BAB they receive an additional AOO to use per round.

So what do you folk think, does this seem like an interesting idea or just another way to make combat drag on longer?

2009-05-25, 10:39 PM
this sounds great!

particularly if you were to launch a magic-less campaign.

2009-05-26, 01:38 AM
Riposte= If after making a parry attempt you succeed by a margin of 5 or more you may make an instantaneous attack of opportunity with a -5 penalty.

Can they parry back?

That aside, I like that this adds melee combat options, and I love BDB. The opposed attacks mean a bit more chaos (standard deviation of ~8.4 for the 2d20 rather than 1d20's 5.9, although the distribution is more normalized.) That would make higher combat skill a bit less important, though ripostes should make it up for higher gaps.

2009-05-26, 10:29 AM
To TheGrimace, thanks. And yeah my campaign is almost low-magic. I'm currently running a Pathfinder with very little magic items and all magic users must get their spells oked by me. So far it's working rather well, though we're only at level 8 so the larger power gaps haven't quite shown up.

To cherez, yeah I think they should, since they only have a limited number of AOOs to use, and at 2 to make a Riposte they could run out quickly so it would seem fair and realistic-ish, without going back and further continually between 2 opponents. I'm not sure that at higher levels it would make BAB that much less important since they will often be fighting monsters with much higher defense bonuses, but then I have not done any math on it.

2009-05-26, 04:14 PM
Cool, I'm not the only person who's thought of this idea. Though I never posted it, I wrote up a parry mechanic that is basically identical to this, except that parry attempts made with a shield bash add the shield's AC bonus to their attack roll. I also wrote up a few feats - one that allows you to parry spells that have attack rolls, a generic Improved Parry that gives +4 to parry rolls and lets you attempt to parry an attack more than once if your first parry attempt fails, one that lets you parry ranged attacks, and one that lets you redirect attacks that you parry to another target if you succed on the roll by more than 10. I don't have to add that I think this is a great mechanic, do I?

2009-05-27, 08:38 PM
Hey that's cool. Glad to see I'm not the only one.

And yeah I've been thinking of feats for it as well. (Though, I was going to save something like getting 2 parries per attack a high level ability for a Fencing class I've had in the back of my head for awhile)

I'm also worried that this makes Combat Reflexes too good for having no Prerequisites. But that is easily fixed.

Feats I've thought of for it (and 1 or 2 I shamelessly stole from you Surly)

Improved Parry
Prerequisite: Dex 13, Combat Reflexes
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on checks to parry an incoming attack. This bonus increases by +1 every increment of 5 to your Base Attack Bonus, culminating at +6 at 20th level.

Improved Riposte
Prerequisite: Dex 15, Combat Reflexes, Improved Parry
Benefit: The penalty when making a riposte attempt is reduced by 2. This penalty is reduced by 1 every increment of 6 to your Base Attack Bonus, culminating at no penalty at level 18.
Normal: To make a riposte attempt incurs a penalty of -5.

Feat edit. All the Improved (Sunder, Trip, Disarm, ect) allows them to use said maneuver as a riposte.

Parry Arrow
Prerequisite: Dex 15, Combat Reflexes, Improved Parry
Benefit: You may make parry attempts against ranged weapons. Usually massive ranged weapons (such as boulders or ballista bolts) and ranged attacks generated by spell affects can't be deflected.

Greater Riposte
Prerequisite: Dex 17, Combat Reflexes, Improved Parry, Improved Riposte, base attack bonus +10
Benefit: After a successful parry attempt ripostes no longer cost an attack of opportunity.